Perhaps one of the toughest things about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is the chronic fatigue. It’s invisible, so those around you often don’t understand, and we live in a fast-paced world where there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I work full time as a college counselor at a private high school, live on a farm and help out whenever needed, and own and ride two horses. And that doesn’t even count all of the normal “adulting” activities like laundry, cleaning, groceries, etc!
I’m lucky if I get to bed around 10:30 p.m., though my alarm usually goes off around 6 a.m. For most adults, that’s a pretty good sleep schedule. For me, however, it often leaves me still feeling tired. Especially at this time of year, work is nonstop and, at times, emotionally draining. Even though it’s often in a good way, with graduation and seniors preparing for their next steps, it can still be a lot! It’s starting to get hot, which makes my days longer, too, as riding and chores have to happen either early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the worst of the heat.
Basically, it ends up with me feeling most days like I could always use more sleep. I don’t have time to nap, and to be honest, I’m not really a “napper” anyway. On the rare occasion that I do, I often wake up feeling more tired than when I fell asleep. I’m looking forward to being able to sleep in for a few days coming up soon so I can get a bit more rest.
I love what I do, but there are definitely times when the fatigue catches up with me. And anyone who knows me well can tell you that an overtired me is not a fun me to be around. Some people get “hangry.” I get over-emotional and stress out about pointless things when I’m overtired. As I’ve learned this about myself, however, I’ve become better at containing it when I know I haven’t had enough sleep, and I then make getting a good night’s sleep a priority.
Summer is here and in full swing even though it’s barely June. With longer days of sunlight and lots to do, it’s easy to allow sleep to fall by the wayside, but I know I have to be mindful and take care of myself, too.
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